Seasoned Pros: Tips for New Instructors

kara and nate scuba diving PADI Divers

By Tara Bradley Connell

Sharing a love of diving with a new diver is one of the most rewarding experiences for a PADI Pro. And with knowledge and time, the lessons learned along the way are priceless. Here are some tips from PADI’s seasoned pros on how to create a successful and enjoyable career in diving.

Read Your Students

When Conrad Rucker, a PADI course director at Dive Georgia, learned to dive, it was with a steel 72, single-hose regulator, and a backpack. Since then, the gear requirements have gotten an upgrade, and he’s trained over 1,500 divers. For Rucker, focusing on the students and their different skill levels is his strongest piece of advice.

“Always put the students’ safety first,” he says. “Look out for the ‘weakest link’ of the group. Have fun. If you’re not enjoying it, your students probably aren’t, either.”

conrad rucker

It’s Never Too Late

Louise Kiyani, a PADI MSDT at Diveworld, located in Yorkshire, England, didn’t try diving until she was 38. In fact, she was terrified of open water areas. Thanks to her patient instructor, she found her footing.

“My very first dive was mind-blowing! All my fears vanished in an instant, and I was hooked – the poor guy couldn’t get rid of me for days after that,” she laughs.

Today, she has a dive center and has trained over 1,000 divers. For Kiyani, it’s all about taking your time.

“I overcame fear and pushed myself and have never been more surprised at my own ability and I’ve never looked back,” she said. “My advice would be don’t hesitate and choose carefully.  Teach what you love to do, stay focused and give your best. I firmly believe the rewards will come back at you tenfold.”

louise kiyani

Don’t Give Up

Made Partayasa has been diving since 1998, but it wasn’t until March 2019 that he took the next step and became a course director at Blue Corner Dive Lembongan in Bali. Today, he has trained almost 800 divers.

Partayasa says that it was the perseverance he learned from his family at Blue Corner Dive that helped him pass his Instructor Exam – even after he initially failed the physics and equipment segments.

“Cody saw ‘failure’ as a normal step, and worked tirelessly to help me succeed,” he says. “I never wanted to be an instructor because I was too afraid of my English and theory. Cody used to stay from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to help me learn it all. I could not have done it without the support and guidance from Cody, Andrew, and the Blue Corner Dive family.  I can now pass on that same support, patience, and understanding to every candidate I have.” 

Made Partayasa

Build Your Logbook

In 1990, Simon Hotchkin tried diving on a fluke while on holiday. Today, he is a PADI Master Instructor and owns Stellare Divers, in Lincolnshire, England. For Hotchkin, and his 900-some student certifications, it’s about gaining exposure to a variety of different dive conditions.

“Get loads of diving experience in as many different places and environments as possible,” he says. “Once you have a ton of experience and are a rounded diver, then become a PADI Pro, give something back, help others see the amazing things that you have, and share your passion.”

Simon Hotchkin

Passion = Success

PADI course director Anna Schmitz always thought she’d end up teaching or working in the medical field, but the second she tried diving that all went out the window.

“I put a regulator in my mouth — and everything changed! Buy hey! I am a teacher, and I love dive medicine!”

Through her diving career, she’s trained 1,464 professionals and owns Emerald Coast Scuba. In addition to their regular diving curriculum, her team focuses on their Wounded Warrior and SEAL team programs. For Schmitz, the most important thing to remember when building a successful career in diving is to enjoy it.

Anna Schmitz

“Teach what you love — and the joy (and money) will follow!”

Dieter Steinbrich, a PADI MSDT and operation manager for Dune Atlantis Bali, based in Sanur,  agrees.

“Follow your dream and learn as much as you can,” he says.

Dieter Steinbrich

Dream Big

Restunning Sandini is not only the IDC Manager of Two Fish Divers Indonesia, but she was also the first female Indonesian PADI course director.

“Everyone has their own issues, and as Indonesian or Eastern-cultured women, we are sometimes seen as selfish if we strive to reach our dreams. The truth is, every dream needs sacrificing,” she says. “To be honest, there were times that I thought I would not be able to reach it. But again, if your dreams are not giving you bruises, then they are not big enough, right?”

Restuning Sandini

Check out these 6 Secrets Behind Dive Center Hiring when looking for a career in scuba.

What Does It Mean to Be “The Best” Dive Shop?

According to Google, Mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% over the past two years. More importantly, there’s been an increase in searches for “the best” product to fit a specific need. For example:

“best face lotion for dry skin,”
“best shoes for standing all day”
“best champagne for mimosas”

What does this mean for you as a dive retailer?
The theory that there can only be one winner is no longer true. Your business might be:

  • the best dive center for kids
  • the best dive boat in Maui
  • the best padi divemaster internship in [location]

Consider where your business excels, or where it would like to grow, and start writing about why you’re “the best dive shop for  ______” on your website and social media. You might ask customers to give a shout out to “the best dive guide in [your location]” when posting an online review and tie it to a reward for staff members who receive the most mentions every month or quarter.

What are consumers’ intentions?
So what are people looking for when they search for “the best”? According to Google, they want to “get the most for my money” and avoid buyer’s regret. Google also noted:

Consumers told us searching “best” helps save time by returning a curated list of fewer options …rankings, ratings, or reviews from consumers and experts. You can see the difference between search for results for gas grill and for best gas grill.

This is another clue for dive centers hoping to gain more customers. On your website and social media, address the concerns of people who may be wary of spending hundreds of dollars on scuba lessons.

  • Invite them to try Discover Scuba® Diving first and apply the cost to the PADI® Open Water Diver course if they like the experience.
  • Include testimonials on your website (or link to Facebook reviews) to reassure visitors they will have fun and learn from safe, professional instructors.
  • Coach staff how to identify a potential customer’s needs or goals and reply with a specific solution (as opposed to giving a canned answer).

Are you the best?
Use Google’s incognito mode and search for “best dive shop near me,” or other best of search. If you don’t show up on the first page of search results, add copy to your website (just a few mentions, don’t go crazy) about “why we’re the best dive shop in [location]” or “why we’re the best dive boat for underwater photographers,” etc.

6 Top Tips to Help Dive Operators Reduce Marine Litter

It’s no secret that plastic pollution and marine debris is a huge problem threatening the health of our oceans. That’s why PADI is involved in an industry-wide initiative called Mission 2020, which aims to inspire dive-related businesses and charities to commit to reducing their plastic use.

PADI has pledged to lessen its dependency on packaging to minimise the plastic footprint of hundreds of thousands of divers each year. But what can you do as a dive operator to reduce plastic pollution and marine litter?

Here are a few top tips from the team at The Reef-World Foundation (international co-ordinators of Green Fins) to help you play your part in preserving the oceans you enjoy diving in and for future generations:

1. Organise Underwater Clean-ups
Marine litter is a huge problem but dive operators can lessen its impact not only by refusing single-use items, reducing waste and recycling but also by conducting Dive Against Debris® surveys or even organising underwater clean-up events.

It’s important to avoid damaging the environment in the process of removing any marine debris so make sure your divers maintain good buoyancy, watch their fins, make sure they don’t have any gauges trailing that might touch or damage the reef and don’t touch anything that isn’t trash. Have them work slowly and carefully as a buddy team with one person holding the trash bag and the other wearing gloves and collecting the trash. Divers will need to adjust their buoyancy throughout the dive – remember, as they pick up more rubbish, they are going to get heavier! It’s also a good idea to record data about the trash you collect (Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris App). You can find a handy guide to organising underwater clean-ups here.

2. Ditch the Masking Tape
Using masking tape to indicate a full tank is a common practice in many dive schools. But have you ever thought about what happens to that tape once it’s been torn off the tank neck? Tape can easily become marine debris by blowing into the ocean. Why not make permanent, reusable caps for your scuba tanks? It’s really simple – all you need is some plastic hosing and good quality rope.

3. Think About Lunches
We all know diving makes you hungry – and there’s nothing like providing some tasty snacks for your guest’s surface interval. But have you ever considered how your quick bite might affect the ocean? Plastic-wrapped sweeties and refreshments served in disposable containers all add to the plastic problem. But it needn’t be that way – clients will appreciate your efforts to preserve the marine environment by serving fresh fruit, coconut pieces and snacks in reusable lunch boxes!

4. Bin It!
As well as reducing your waste, it’s important to make sure any trash that’s created during diving trips is disposed of responsibly. Make sure your dive shops and boats have adequate ashtrays and appropriately sized bins (with lids – the bin is no use if the trash is still swept into the ocean by the wind!) and, wherever possible, separate and recycle your rubbish.

5. Adopt the Green Fins Code of Conduct or Become a Member
Green Fins is a global initiative, coordinated internationally by The Reef-World Foundation in partnership with the UN Environment, which protects coral reefs by ensuring environmentally friendly diving and snorkelling practices.

Dive and snorkel centres operating in active Green Fins locations can apply for membership by signing the membership form and pledging to follow the 15 environmental practices of the Green Fins Code of Conduct. Active members will then be trained, assessed and certified annually and provided with all the resources they need to reduce their environmental impact. If Green Fins is not available in your area, adopt the Code of Conduct voluntarily.

Individual dive guides can also become Green Fins certified by completing the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course – whether or not their dive shop is a member.

Divers themselves can choose to book with Green Fins members as well as donating to support the development and implementation of Green Fins’ work to make coral reefs more resilient when faced with greater threats such as climate change.

Mission 2020 Logo

6. Make a Mission 2020 Pledge
Changing your business practices to reduce plastics is not just good for the ocean; divers care about the ocean and look for businesses who are making strides to protect marine life. So, better environmental practices will lead to increased customer loyalty, higher rates of return customers and great online reviews (which, in turn, attract more business). If you run a diver operator and are inspired to help improve the health of our oceans by reducing your plastic consumption, make a pledge to support Mission 2020.

 

Guest Post Written By: Melissa Hobson, The Reef-World Foundation

Take Responsibility, Own the Dive, Gain Confidence

Not many adventure sports occur in alien environments. In that regard scuba diving is less like skiing or rock climbing and more like playing ping pong in outer space. Divers have to learn knowledge and skills as well as how to properly kit up to simply breathe while participating in and enjoying the activity. To be captivated by diving, an individual needs to engage deeply in diver training. How do we get people to do that?

PADI® courses, while remaining true to their roots, are continuously refined toward moving the diver beyond elementary knowledge and skills to being and thinking like a diver. Your personalized, patient instruction, coupled with PADI training programs and materials, not only sets divers up for success, it also helps them take ownership of their decisions and experiences. For example, they can make diving adventurous or Zen-like because they develop the ability to make sound diving decisions.

Open Water Diver Course – Being a Diver

In the Open Water Diver course, student divers transition from discovery and learning to actually being divers. Each knowledge development section begins with “Being a Diver” and covers topics from understanding what happens to our bodies and our equipment underwater to understanding dive environments and conditions, equipment fit, function and maintenance, taking responsibility for oneself including health and fitness, actively diving, refreshing skills and taking continuing education courses. Students think about what they want out of diving, and they ease into the dive lifestyle through the dive center and dive social media.

At the start of inwater training, students begin purposefully evaluating personal comfort levels using the Skill Practice side of the PADI Skill Practice and Dive Planning Slate so they learn to:

  • Recognize when a skill has gone well and feel confident in their ability.
  • Understand that if a skill has not gone well yet, repetition and practice will develop their ability until they can recognize success and feel confident about the skill.

Use of the confidence self-checks enhances learning directly and indirectly:

  • Indirectly – The instructor recognizes mastery, but finds that students don’t express confidence. If instructor and student assessments don’t match, through this discovery the instructor can use repetition and encouragement to create confidence that matches competence.
  • Directly – The diver learns that it’s good to express emotional discomfort to guide learning. It indicates the need to take extra time to repeat, slow down and review. After certification, the diver has learned how to take responsibility when presented with a diving scenario in which confidence is lacking. This encourages the diver to appropriately step back and evaluate readiness. It might motivate the diver to ReActivate®, take a continuing education course, get professional guidance, etc., depending upon the situation.

This is why the PADI Skill Practice and Dive Planning Slate is required. Using it, student divers take more responsibility for their training. It’s a tool that gets them to speak up if they need to slow down or need extra practice, or to say they’re ready because they know that they are. This approach not only lets them enjoy learning more because they grow in ability as well as confidence, but also because they learn that their choices will affect what happens in the water, which is certainly the case once certified.

Though Open Water Diver students have always been part of the dive planning process for open water dives, the 2013 revision enhanced this by putting them in the lead for Open Water Dive 4. Flipping the slate, divers use the Dive Planning side to work in teams to plan and execute the dive. Ideally, the instructional team is there only to oversee and help when required.

Building upon what they practiced during Confined Water Dive Five’s minidive, students transform into divers under your supervision. They “own” the dive because they show you that they can do it without your instructions. What better way to measure if students have the skills needed for certification than to watch them carry out a dive?

During the debrief, you can reinforce their ability to dive without supervision by using guided discovery questions about what went well and according to plan, how the dive could have gone better, and what they would do differently next time. They are beginning to think like divers.

Advanced Open Water Diver – Thinking Like a Diver

With the 2016 revision of the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, the required Thinking Like a Diver knowledge development section illuminates the path to diving proficiency. By building on previous knowledge, divers focus on four central dive skills:

  • Planning dives with secondary objectives
  • Developing and applying situational awareness
  • Managing task loading
  • Maintaining good dive habits

This section applies to all Adventure Dives. Regardless of experience coming into the course, Thinking Like a Diver gives students even more ownership of their dive experiences. They do this through awareness, by knowing how to think through problem situations, and by recognizing the value of good habits that might have gone unnoticed before.

Thinking Like a Diver, when fully applied, not only boosts diver skill level, but also creates an earned and appropriate sense of confidence. Putting this into practice on each Adventure Dive and reflecting on it with the instructional team during the debriefing instills the responsibility divers must take for themselves.

As with many activities, people sometimes rely on others to make the experience go smoothly, and skilled PADI Pros play an integral role in helping divers do this. Yet, ultimately, divers must take responsibility for their diving decisions (even on a guided dive). The more they do so, the more they make better decisions that reduce risk, increase enjoyment and boost their emotional investment in the diving experience.

IDC – Thinking Like an Instructor

The revised IDC refinements put our most experienced educators – PADI Course Directors and IDC Staff Instructors – more squarely front and center when it comes to mentoring, and that includes helping new instructors to “own” their instruction and to take responsibility for their teaching decisions.

IDC eLearning exposes instructor candidates to concepts underpinning instructor training. When they come to class, they spend more contact hours in workshops with seasoned instructor trainers. Through training-based scenarios, both dry and inwater, candidates practice the art of teaching in simulated experiences. In this environment, candidates are free to make mistakes, learn from them and adjust accordingly.

The revised IDC (in development now) embodies the thinking-like-a-diver concept turned pro. While candidates hone and develop decision-making skills critical to teaching people to dive, they also acquire the knowledge they need to be successful, not just at the IE but more importantly when they step in front of their future students.

This article appeared in the Fourth Quarter 2018 The Undersea Journal®, written by Julie Taylor Sanders

PADI/GoPro Evolution Video Contest Kicks Off

PADI® is partnering with GoPro to present the three-part Evolution video contest series, which will run through October 2019. Whether it’s a sunken ship in your favorite quarry, an unforgettable turtle encounter or a freedive over a vivid reef, you and your divers have a shot at winning valuable prizes as you show off your video and editing skills. Best of all, the contests are a chance to increase your business by offering specialty courses and camera sales.

The CAPTURE contest, which is open for entries from 15 April – 30 May, asks divers, who are at least 18 years old, to simply capture an amazing underwater experience; the second contest, EDIT, is open 1 July – 15 August and tests your editing skills with a series of clips provided by GoPro; the final contest, CAPTURE/EDIT, opens 16 September – 31 October and requires you put everything together – capturing and editing – into one awesome story.

The three contests are open to everyone – amateurs and pros alike – and, beyond just being fun, offer incredible opportunities to boost your business:

  • Teach underwater photography. While divers can get tips on how to capture and edit amazing underwater footage from GoPro professionals, consider cross promoting the contest with a PADI Digital Underwater Photographer specialty course. Either offer the specialty on request, or schedule a handful of courses throughout the duration of the contest period (essentially, all of 2019). When selling the Digital Underwater Photographer specialty, point out to your divers that they’ll likely be able to shoot footage during the course that they can then enter in the contest!
  • Consider other specialties. Digital Underwater Photographer isn’t the only specialty you can promote – there are a number of great courses that tie in nicely not just with the contest, but with digital underwater photography as well. Peak Performance Buoyancy is an obvious tie-in because peak buoyancy makes underwater photography more rewarding; Fish Identification teaches divers to identify fish and understand fish behavior better; and, the Boat Diver and Wreck Diver specialties can get divers to environments they may not have dived before, for exciting new encounters. What’s more, if your divers take enough of these specialties, they’re on their way to PADI Master Scuba DiverTM.
  • Sell the hardware. Finally, take this opportunity to sell more GoPro cameras and accessories, or if you don’t currently sell GoPro, consider adding them to you inventory. Only videos shot on a GoPro can be entered into the Evolution contest, so what better way of promoting the sale of GoPro cameras and accessories than by featuring them right next to information about the contests!

To help you promote the PADI/GoPro Evolution contest to your divers, there is a full range of marketing collateral and resources on the PADI Pros’ Site. Happy shooting!

PADI Travel™ Can Help You Sell More Dive Travel

Want to get started organizing group dive travel?

PADI Travel can help you plan, organize and market your trips profitably. By signing up for PADI Travel’s  Affiliate Program, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts have access to the best rates around, negotiated by a global team of dive travel experts. Learn more about how the Affiliate Program can help you grow your business and then activate your Affiliate account today.

Get started by reading these top tips to deliver group trips that encourage customers to come back for more.  Here are eight basic considerations to help you plan, organize and market a great trip:

1 – Select an appropriate destination

How can you select destinations that will excite your customers? It’s easy – just ask them, both informally when they come into store and through surveys and newsletters. Their answers are very important. Knowing what destinations customers are contemplating will help decide whether to book more premium, exotic destinations or whether to keep your trip budget-friendly.

Seasonality is also a vital factor as it will dictate dive conditions, water temperatures and marine life encounters. If you’re not sure, use the PADI Travel destination guides that provides a variety of information to ensure you make an informated decision.

2 – Book the trip well in advance

Always book your group trips as far in advance as possible to allow plenty of time to fill the trips. Give yourself at least six months to a year as this will increase the likelihood of booking the resort or liveaboard of your choice before spaces fill up. This also gives your customers enough time to plan and you enough time to effectively market the trip.

3 – Choose accommodations to suit your divers

PADI Travel has a wide range of destinations and dive travel packages to suit all budgets. Don’t forget to check the deals page for any special deals. Depending on your survey results, select accommodations that fit your customers.  It’s important to choose options that meet the needs of your customers both in terms of price and room availability based on if you have couples and single travelers. If you have nondivers on the trip, make sure you choose accommodation options that provide variety and entertainment for them.

4 – Manage your group size effectively

When you’re gauging interest from your customers about where they want to go, don’t forget to find out how many are interested in actually participating in a group trip. Use this information to estimate your group trip size so you don’t book too big or small a charter, both of which can impact your ability to deliver a incredible experience for your customers and one that’s also profitable for you.

5 – Ensure your pricing reflects all costs

Once your trip is booked you will need to price it for your customers. Consider all components of the package (such as meals, airfare, special excursions, additional extras, etc.) as well as your own costs. Remember the time you put into organizing the trip is valuable so make sure you get paid for the work you do. Always highlight add-ons and extras so that your trip looks attractive compared to other options in the market.

6 – Promote your trip in a variety of ways

Once you’ve made a reservation, there are many ways to market it. First, offer it to those who initially showed an interest. Then, you can:

  • Speak to customers who come into your store and those taking dive courses
  • Create take-home flyers about the trip
  • Prominently advertise it in your dive center
  • Add details to the homepage of your website
  • Include the trip in any newsletters you send
  • Hold an event about the destination to inspire people

7 – Upsell relevant courses and equipment

In the three to six months prior to your trip, gather participants at your dive center for a pre-event evening to discuss the trip. This is a perfect time to highlight beneficial PADI courses or any recommended equipment. This will increase your profitability and help you deliver the best possible advice and service so your customers get the most out of their booking. Consider offering package pricing for any courses your divers complete while on the trip.

8 – Keep customers up-to-date with key information

Once a customer books onto your trip, it’s important you provide them with written confirmation of their spot (including the trip price), outline when the deposit is due, confirm when the remaining balance is due and let them know the cancellation policy. At the same time, ask for relevant personal details such as their name as it appears on their passport, passport number and date of birth.

For help getting started or for more information, don’t hesitate to contact PADI Travel at b2b.travel@padi.com. Experienced dive travel experts are ready to help you organize successful group trips.

Visit PADI Travel.

 

How to Open a Dive Shop or Resort

Written by Megan Denny 

Ever thought about opening a dive shop, resort, or running a dive charter boat? Getting started in the scuba business is easier than you may think, but being successful takes patience, planning and plenty of research.

how to open a dive shop

Whether you’re a PADI® Pro who’s ready to be your own boss, or an experienced business professional ready for a second act, starting a scuba business can be very rewarding. As a dive shop owner, you’ll play an important role in introducing people to the underwater world and creating new underwater ambassadors. Not to mention you automatically become the most interesting person in the room when you tell people, “ I own a dive shop.”

Start With a Well-Researched, Realistic Business Plan
The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports, 20 percent of small businesses fail within their first year, and only about a third survive 10 years or more.” So how do you avoid becoming a negative statistic?

A good dive shop business plan helps you set attainable goals, manage resources, handle unforeseen problems and make solid decisions. There are many resources available online in addition to computer software, books with step-by-step guidelines; you can also hire a business consultant. The most important thing is to choose a business plan template that you’re comfortable with.

Other important considerations:

  • Understand your local market including your non-scuba competition for customers’ free time (mountain biking, skiing, etc.).
  • Decide who will teach your classes, complete gear repairs, manage the retail space, drive the boat, etc. One person should not attempt to do all of these things.
  • Research permits, zoning ordinances, utility requirements, etc.
  • Will you have an on-site pool? If not, confirm what confined water training options are available.
  • Will you be self-funded? Crowd-funded? Have partner investors? Take out a small business loan?
  • What business structure will you choose?
    Guide to business structures in the US

Business structures in Canada
Latin America company formation guide

Be Prepared to Work 40-50 Hours a Week
There’s a saying, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” That said, opening a small business means spending a lot of time doing what you (hopefully) love. According to a study reported by Inc, nearly half of all small business owners work more than 50 hours per week, and 82 percent work more than 40 hours.

During the start-up phase, usually 9-12 months, those long hours will come with little to no pay. Though it’s possible to get a dive shop up and running in six months, building a customer base takes time. Learn more about the timeline to start a scuba business.

Buying a Dive Shop Vs. Starting from Square One

Taking over an existing dive shop may be easier than building a new scuba diving business from the ground up. When you buy an existing dive business, the start-up costs are generally lower and you can usually retain the dive shop’s customers, suppliers and staff. You may also benefit from the advice and experience of the current owner. If you’re a PADI Member, check out the Classified Ads on the PADI Pros’ Site to find dive operations for sale.

That said, buying a dive shop means taking the good with the bad. In addition to researching the business’ reputation online, talk to current customers and suppliers. If you learn about something that makes you uncomfortable, or discover the business has a lot of debt, start with a clean slate instead.

Avoid the Most Common Mistake New Dive Shop Owners Make
Not investing enough in marketing and promotion is the number one mistake new dive shop owners make. “I’ve seen people open a shop thinking their personal dive associates will keep them in business,” said PADI Americas Regional Manager LeRoy Wickham.

“They overlook the fact that the majority of these friends already have most of their gear and only bring in small business like air fills and maybe some repairs. It’s not enough to keep the doors open,” Wickham explained.

Read more about the Top 7 Mistakes New Dive Shop Owners Make.

how to open a dive shop or resort

Choose the Right Business Partner
Many passionate divers and scuba instructors run unsuccessful dive businesses because they don’t take the time to learn how to run a business. Very few people are experts in hiring, pricing, staff training, retail management and marketing. Seeking expert advice is one of the smartest things a new dive shop owner can do.

PADI Business Academy
Attend PADI Business Academy to ramp up your knowledge of important business skills and  learn proven dive industry marketing techniques. Visit the PADI Pros Site to find an upcoming PADI Business Academy near you.

PADI Regional Managers
Don’t hesitate to contact your PADI Regional Manager (RM) early on. All PADI Regional Managers have worked in the dive industry for many years – many have owned or managed dive shops. They don’ represent other dive industry brands, and have unique knowledge about your local market.

Other PADI Benefits
PADI has the broadest marketing reach and is the most-recognized scuba diving brand in the world. As a PADI Dive Center or Resort, you’ll have access to innovative marketing tools online and in the PADI Marketing Toolbox. Additionally, your students will receive follow-up email reminders encouraging them to pursue additional training. Last but not least, your business will have access to premium liability insurance and risk management tools.

Further Reading:
Learn more about the benefits of partnering with PADI
Tips for Starting a Business Later in Life (Inc)
Top 7 Mistakes New Dive Shop Owners Make
Small Business Funding (SBA)
Starting a Scuba Business – How Long Does it Take?

Have You Renewed Your PADI Retail and Resort Membership?

Maybe you’ve been busy during the past several months and your membership renewal wasn’t at the top of your priority list. If you haven’t had the time to renew your PADI® Membership, please use one of the following methods prior to 31 January 2019.

  1. Renew Online by visiting PADI Pros’ Site.
  2. Renew by phone by contacting Customer Relations – 1-800-729-7234 or 949-858-7234.
    • Cori Beveridge – ext. 2416
    • Juanita Seino – ext. 2320
Stay prosperous in 2019 with PADI – the global leader in diver education.

Updated Dive Shop Locator Now Live

The updated PADI® Dive Shop Locator (DSL) is now live in eight languages (with more to come) and makes it even easier for divers to find you. Here’s what’s new:

Responsive Design for Mobile Devices

The DSL was redesigned with mobile users in mind and is responsive to any device screen with familiar touch navigation.

Map function:

The map uses familiar mapping functions like dragging, zooming and selecting a map entry for more information. Users can redo searches in new areas and rest the map to their current location. Plus, hovering in the results pane highlights the dive shop flag for that particular dive center on the map as a visual indicator of its location.

Premium:

Premium upgrade listings are given higher priority in searches and are shown at the top of search results. These listings also provide a more detailed dive shop profile and display the dive store’s logo. Plus, you can now list the courses available at your dive center by editing the account tab under Premium Listing at the PADI Pros’ Site.

Sponsored Ads:

Sponsored Ads are now displayed with a yellow border in the results pane and yellow dive flag in the map area. As of 1 January 2019, advertisement display order will be randomized, which means anyone may be at the top of the results.

Search results:

While all dive centers and resorts are shown in an unfiltered search, Five Star and Premium listings are given weighted priority. There are numerous filters available but to improve search results, dive centers can purchase a Premium Listing or Sponsored Ad or upgrade to a Five Star membership level. The weighting system is a balance of Five Star status, Premium Listing status, distance from center and search keywords.

Check out the improved PADI Dive Shop Locator today and be sure to provide your comments by using the feedback button.

Earn Money Selling PADI Travel’s Dive Vacations

In the digital age, the old ways of doing business have been broadsided by a barrage of internet-savvy business models that have turned the world of commerce upside down. Among these are affiliate programs. Simply put, affiliate programs (sometimes called associate programs) are business arrangements in which an online merchant pays affiliates commissions to send them traffic or referrals that result in a sale. There are always three parties in this arrangement: the customer, the affiliate and the merchant. These affiliate sites traditionally post links to the merchant site and are paid according to a particular agreement.

Now, as the all-new PADI Travel™ Affiliate Program rolls out, PADI Dive Centers and Resorts are poised to take part in a growing digital marketing presence that stands to significantly raise the bar for how dive travel is sold. PADI® Members who’ve been on board with their own dive travel agencies get the concept. If selling dive travel is relatively new for you, look at the PADI Travel Affiliate Program and learn more about how it could transform your business and give you access to a brand new marketplace for your divers.

Key Benefits of the PADI Travel Affiliate Program

  • Commission: As a PADI Travel Affiliate, you can sell anything offered by PADI Travel and earn a commission. You even earn a commission for directly referring clients – if they book a trip, you get a commission.
  • Instore Sales: Once a diver you refer to PADI Travel books, PADI Travel will send them back to your store so you can provide further training or fulfill equipment needs.
  • Group Trips and Charters: receive unbeatable service, expert advice, group discounts, extra spots, dive show specials and free diver protection insurance when you book your group trips through PADI Travel. With a 24/7 customer support team, PADI Travel ensures your groups come back to you next time to book their vacation. The upcoming PADI Travel marketplace will even allow you to fill unbooked spots on your group trips.

You get full marketing support from the PADI Travel team. This includes training guides, webinars and POS (point of sale) materials including posters and business cards that really gear you up to maximize the revenue you can earn through the PADI Travel Affiliate Program. All your POS material is personalized with your unique tracking codes. If one of your customers takes a business card, logs on at home and makes a booking, you earn your commission.

PADI TRAVEL

PADI Travel Can Boost Your Business – Whether You Already Sell Travel or Not

  • Already Succesfully Selling Travel?

For those with in-house travel agencies, you now have access to the largest inventory of bookable scuba diving properties in the world – 400 and growing. Access new markets, new territories and new locations – all backed by incredible PADI Travel customer service – and earn new revenue.

  • Not Yet Selling Travel?

If you don’t already sell travel, now is the time to bolster your revenue – start today. You earn attractive commission on every diver you point towards PADI Travel. You don’t even need to organize a trip – just connect your customers with PADI Travel. All affiliates are provided tracking codes to automatically associate your customers with your account. This triggers a commission payment once the customer has made an independent booking.

Ready to take advantage of the PADI Travel Affiliate program? You can register here.